CAPPS PUTS BRUT DODGE INTO NO. 9 IN POMONA FINAL QUALIFYING POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2004) - Ron Capps firmly planted the all-new Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car into the No. 9 spot in final qualifying for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series...
CAPPS PUTS BRUT DODGE INTO NO. 9 IN POMONA FINAL QUALIFYING
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2004) - Ron Capps firmly planted the all-new Brut Dodge Stratus Funny Car into the No. 9 spot in final qualifying for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season opener at Pomona Raceway, following an earlier session in which each of the three Don Schumacher Racing Funny Cars struggled to get down the track. Friday's qualifying round was cancelled because of rain.
Capps posted a stout 4.794-second elapsed time at 317.72 mph, a direct result of the teamwork among each of the team crew chiefs, including Capps' tuner Ed "Ace" McCulloch, co-crew chief Dan Olson, and team tuners Mike Neff and Lee Beard. Capps' first two runs produced a pedaling effort of 4.884/316.97 in his first pass on Thursday and a tire-shaking 11.950/60.53 today.
"We have some goals over here - some short term, some long term," said the California native, "and definitely our short-term goal is to move our way up in the Skoal Showdown (a $100,000 NHRA bonus event held at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, entry to which is based on qualifying points throughout the year, which Capps has won three times). That's something we need to be in at Indy.
"The Brut guys did great," said Capps of his all-new crew. "You have to deal with the weather conditions, it's the first race of the year, and you have a lot of sponsors here, which makes for a lot of added pressure. Anyone who says there isn't is not trying hard enough out here.
"Ace and all of the Brut guys did a heck of a job. The way the conditions were it paid to have a great body like the Stratus. It started to move out of the groove a little bit and I brought it right back. It makes it a lot easier for me as a driver."
Capps and his teammate Whit Bazemore will meet in the first round of eliminations. "Unfortunately, the one downside is we race our teammate in the first round," said Capps. "His is a tough car, obviously. When it comes time to race it's going to be 'mano-a-mano' and Ace and Olson and Beard (Bazemore's crew chief) are going to do their best. Whit and I as drivers are going to hang on and hope for the best."
In his first official qualifying pass for Don Schumacher Racing on Thursday, Capps impressed the fans with his pedaling job to overcome tire shake and get the Brut Funny Car to the finish line in 4.88 seconds, which was good for sixth at the time. "It was just lucky," he said. "No one had gotten down the track in front of us. So I was in that mode. Ace and Olson and I had kind of talked about it beforehand, so we were ready for it. And it needed it. It was cold out and nobody had put down a good pass.
"It's nice once in a while to give back a little bit to the guys and do something cool, whether it's reaction time or pedaling it to get it down the track. They always put a good horse under me, so it was cool."
The fans got something back from Capps as well. In the final pass, the Brut crew splashed some Brut cologne on the header pipes, and under the tremendous heat of the 7000-hp HEMI engine, the familiar Brut fragrance was clearly evident as the car roared down the quarter-mile at over 317 mph.